National Stud Le Pin
61310 Le Pin au Haras
Region of Normandie
Internet: www.haras-national-du-pin.com (English)
The Haras National du Pin is the oldest of the French National Studs. All of them have been the consequence of the law by Colbert, in 1665, the first minister of Louis XIV, which created a royal stud system, managed by the king. The aim was to renew horses, to control and select breeds and to solve the problem linked to breeding (especially a lack of horses) since horses were at stake during wars.
Today, the stud farms are under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture. Le Pin covers several economic spheres such as competitions, education, races, technical training and tourism.
Le Pin has up to 40 stallions available during the breeding season. Cob Normand, Percheron, Selle Français, Pure Bred Arabians, Anglo Arabians, French Trotters, English Thoroughbreds and Pony stallions are on offer.
Le Pin is nicknamed "Le Versailles du Cheval". Indeed, with regard to the architecture, many features refer to the Palace of Versailles. The symetrical disposition of the buildings, the avenue which forms a perspective through the forest is called "l'Avenue Louis XIV". Robert de Cotte, the architect, reproduced the same pattern as Versailles for the stables built in 1715 (the shape of a horseshoe). The castle, the director's house, was built later, in 1730.
Another reference to Versailles are the gardens which have been designed by Le Nôtre's pupils. At the beginning, the estate covered 1112 acres. Nevertheless, during history, it was divided up: 350 acres leased to the O.N.F (forest administration) and 450 acres to I.N.R.A (research center in genetics and agronomy).